In case you missed it, check out Part 1 of this article, as this talks all about the nasty effects of environmental toxins and hormone disrupting chemicals, what they are and where they’re found.
So, the questions on everyones lips..
How can we heal from years or decades of toxic exposure?
With my clients, I like to gather a detailed health and environmental exposure history, together with certain pathology testing to determine the health impact for that individual, and map out a personalised plan to get them well again. However, for those of you playing along at home, here is my advice to lead a detox lifestyle.
First and foremost, you may have guessed it, EAT WHOLE FOODS.
Whole, unprocessed, plant-based foods with minimal additives should be the basis of any diet, and organic where possible. The additives and chemicals found in processed and non-organic foods can add to your toxin load, and whether you can effectively detoxify them without negative health consequences will depend on your overall health status.
Eating this way also increases your resilience against the onslaught of environmental exposures. The nutrition received from such a diet allows your body and detox pathways to function optimally.
Should you eat only organic?
Non-organic produce is laden with pesticides and herbicides that are supposed to be harmless in small amounts (but have know toxicity at higher doses). However, there has been no scientific research available regarding the long term cumulative and combined cocktail of exposure that we are subjected to over our lifetime.
The question of how exposure to pesticide residue in foods impacts human health is still controversial. That said, there is more than enough evidence to warrant caution—and that is especially true for children and pregnant women. Reports over the past few years have linked pesticide exposure in children to ADHD, intelligence/IQ, and numerous other problems.
I understand that not everyone is in a position to buy 100% organic, however there are ways to prioritise your organic spending to get the most bang for your buck. First, the most important foods to buy organic are animal products, with free-range or grass fed meats being the best for your health.
When it comes to fresh produce, you may have heard of the “Dirty Dozen and Clean 15”. This is a list created by the Environmental Working Group every year, and it lists the produce that are the most heavily pesticide laden (the Dirty Dozen) and those that are the least (the Clean 15). You can find these with a simple google search
An Australian study found that going organic for just one week cut urine levels of organophosphate pesticides by 90%!
There are certain nutrients that are really important
Certain nutrients can improve detoxification and protect us from the harmful effects of this toxin load.
Optimal calcium, zinc and iron status may reduce heavy metal absorption; antioxidants from plant foods can provide overall cellular protection; while selenium and omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the toxicity of methylmercury and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) – discussed in Part 1.
Please look after your liver
In order for your liver to detoxify effectively, there are chemical reactions that require certain nutrients and compounds in order to function. The liver detoxifies in two phases, and different foods support each phase.
Foods that boost the first phase include rosemary, green tea, turmeric, cruciferous vegetables, garlic and onions. Liposomal glutathione supplements, sulphur-containing foods such as eggs, and vitamins involved in methylation such as folate and other B vitamins help with the second phase. Folate is found in foods such as beans and legumes, vitamin B12 is only found in animal products, and vitamin B6 occurs in both.
And of course you can’t forget to heal the gut
If you’ve read any article of mine, you’ll find I almost always talk about gut health. Our gut bacteria are another very important piece of the detoxification puzzle. So here’s the umpteenth reason to prioritise the health of your tummy and the bugs inside it.
Prebiotic foods that can nourish healthy species of gut bacteria include onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, artichoke and chicory. On the other hand, frequent infections, alcohol, smoking, stress and preservatives are some factors which can compromise gut bacteria. So make sure to do your best to take care of your bugs.
Move your body
Adopting exercise into your daily routine will boost your detox capacity. And sweating, whether facilitated by sauna or physical activity, can also aid elimination of some toxins.
Avoid, avoid, avoid
Naturopaths always say – prevention is the best cure! Avoiding toxins is the best way to protect yourself. Don’t buy the cheapest thing, be aware of chemical exposures from products you use every day. By being a conscious shopper we are telling business what we want, and we are supporting the businesses that value our health and wellness above their profits.
Home cooking, whether you cook daily or pre-prepare meals, is one simple way to avoid chemicals in food packaging.
Purchasing personal and home care products, clothing, storage containers and other items that are as natural / toxin free as possible protects both you and the world as a whole.
I mentioned in Part 1 of this series about a non-toxic household product wholesaler that I advise all of my clients sign up with. It’s simple online ordering of non-toxic, environmentally friendly products. This makes detoxifying your home super easy. As all the safer household products are there at your fingertips. Instead of going down to Coles or Woolies and spending hours deciphering labels, you can just jump onto your wholesale account. Click here for more info.
And most of all, remember that knowledge is power! Don’t let fear and anxiety get you down, society is changing.
Once again, if you have any questions or any requests for something for me to cover in a future post – please get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.
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